Archive for September, 2008

Xam’d: Lost Memories: Haru Is Still Far Away

A Haru screenshot! This isn’t something that happens every day! I have no character favoritism going on at all! Also isn’t my cross-language title pun humorous? That’s exactly what I thought!

Episodes 10 and 11 seem to be a kind of turning point for the series (arguably the entire series could be described as one big huge turning point that never ends and turns in random directions at unexpected times, but I digress). 10 was mostly the turning point for Haru, who, essentially, now has the added problem of being unable to actually live up to her own desires without having the arbitrary structure of the military get in her way. As Toujirou points out to her, she is doing the “right thing” as far as he’s concerned, but the “right thing” is not for the military, and if her performance and reliability continue to degrade, then the looming threat of a court-martial will have to be exercised.

This, of course, sets her off down memory lane, back to the last major (plot-relevant) event of her life: her mother’s death. Almost casually, in the flashback sequence, she mentions that she was upset with Akiyuki, who’d beaten her earlier that day in a race (and, presumably, took great pleasure in informing her that he had, in fact, beaten her, as elementary school children trying to hide affection are wont to do). The race and its aftermath are swiftly forgotten when the news of her mother’s death via military vehicle hits, and off she dashes–and, without realizing it, beating the concerned Akiyuki in the race to get to the hospital (and also forgetting that one of her shoes had fallen off, which must have made the run terribly difficult).

Whether consciously or unconsciously, throughout the series proper, Haru and Akiyuki have, in essence, been in a race of sorts–not a race against each other, but a race for each other. While Haru struggles to deal with the potential reality that Akiyuki might be dead (and making a decision to join the military in the meantime), Akiyuki is trying his best to do what he can to send word to her (and, through her, his estranged father and mother) that he is, in fact, alive, and trying to return home. After the letter is sent and arrives in Haru’s hands, she then tries to find a place to meet up with Akiyuki–which happens to be in direct contradiction to her military orders.

This is where it gets difficult for Haru. Paradoxically, to chase after Akiyuki, she now has to abandon that as a goal in order to acheive it through the military. Part of me wonders how much is an actual shift in her own mentality, and how much is her forcibly supressing her own emotions and feelings–like a good soldier should– by shearing herself of her hair. The hair hasn’t actually been said to mean anything in particular as a plot point, yet undoubtedly taking up the shears in the shower was highly symbolic of her presumably forced abandonment of the past, of Akiyuki, of, well, everything that she holds dear.

[insert a reference to the story of Samson here]

This wound up being more about 10 than 11, but, in an effort to level the, uh, not-favoritism going on here, there will be a lot more about 11 when I get the time to do something on Nakiami, who, herself, is as interesting and nuanced as Haru is, except that I don’t have an inexplicable love affair literary fondness for her as I do Haru. Akiyuki, unfortunately, is just kind of…there…at the moment, but surely things will perk up soon for him, right?

…Right?

The Daughter of Twenty Faces: DEATH. RAY. LASER. BEAMS.

Okay, so, as I watched episodes 17 and 18 of The Daughter of Twenty Faces while making a futile attempt to reverse the laws of thermodynamics and reduce entropy by cleaning my desk off (discovering what I can only describe as “dust Godzillas” in the process), I discovered, to my extreme pleasure, that they have, finally, unveiled a giant monster death laser that reminds me of Okamoto Tarou’s Taiyou no Tou (or, possibly, it is that the Taiyou no Tou reminds me of a giant monster death laser, which probably wasn’t Tarou’s intent, but that never stopped me) (ps: fans of Shinbo will take much pleasure in noticing that Shinbo loves Okamoto Tarou to death, as he references him all the time, which amuses me, considering the name of this blog). The series, which is still pretty good (even if it is a very up-and-down kind of good), was just aching to have some kind of giant death laser by which to blow things up spectacularly.

Honestly, I don’t care how totally unrealistic and/or plot device-y giant monster death lasers such as this one and countless others scattered across science fiction in general are, I think they are totally awesome. Anime seems to do such things with a special sense of verve. There’s the epic battle between Gettysburg Fortress and Iserlohn Fortress in Legend of Galactic Heroes, which is best described to those who haven’t seen Legend of Galactic Heroes as a massive pitched battle between two Death Stars, one of which is about 100 zillion times more powerful than the other. I am not kidding.

There’s also things like the Tower of Babel in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, which amuses me greatly, in part because it’s a giant monster death laser in the middle of 19th Century Europe (a really weird 19th Century Europe, but 19th Century nonetheless), but mostly because it was the friggin’ Tower of Babel. Tower. Of. Babel. I’m not sure where in the Bible it mentions that the Tower of Babel was actually a highly technological GMDL, but there you have it. And I also especially liked Eureka Seven’s Oratorio system, which was a GMDL in space and blasted holes right through the Scab Coral itself.

And, on a much smaller scale, I’ve always been fond of Gunbuster, partially because one of its weapons is the Homing Laser, which takes the concept of GMDLs onto an entirely different plane. I also like it because they turned Jupiter into a giant bomb, but that’s still not quite as cool as Homing Laser.

What does all this have to do with Daughter of Twenty Faces? Absolutely nothing. As stated above, the series continues to be highly enjoyable, even if nearly every episode is enjoyable in strange ways unique to that episode. I’d almost say that they (being the manga author) aren’t really sure what they’re doing with the series and are just throwing things into it and hoping that it works, and while some miss horribly (I still find the powered armor suit kind of jarring and out-of-setting), others work well and make the series a highly enjoyable, if nigh-on nonsensical, watch. Of course, the series is supposed to be nigh-on nonsensical, so I’m not too terribly bothered when super-fast super-strong children show up and beat the tobacco juice out of Ken (is he actually going to do anything important, or is he just going to stand around saying “look at me, I’m wearing an eyepatch and a black leather jacket. Am I not the definition of cool?”, which, honestly, is perfectly fine with me, because God knows we need more eyepatch fanservice), and then two of them have a fight with each other, which was also awesome, and I think I can just type “awesome” here for a few more paragraphs and it would probably be a perfectly accurate summary of 17-18.

Also I’m pretty sure Twenty Faces is dead now. For reals. Like, crushed by rocks. Then again, if falling into the ocean from cruising altitude doesn’t kill him…

In the words of Mark Twain…

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. Greatly, greatly exaggerated.

This is the whiny post, but it’s also the “this is why I have been very silent for the past few weeks” post. And it’s only whiny for a bit!

Due to a rather silly confluence of:

a) 3 mandatory 12-hour days a week plus one optional 12-hour day (which I tend to take as keeps me socially occupied when otherwise I would not be), as well as alternate weekends and a third Sunday every month, with very little in the way of breaks in the day
2) the fact that I have been doing such insane crazy hours for the past, oh, two years now, with exactly two weeks of vacation time, one week taken in May 2007 and the other in August 2008)
iii) the emotional numbness that tend to accompany (i) and (ii) when combined with a disturbing tendency to sleep less than is custom
四つ目) my own natural tendency towards unnatural levels of stress, real or imagined

posts have been quite sparse this month, for no other reason than I am eternally drained of energy. Arguably I am not MAN ENOUGH to buck up and handle the stress (this is true, of course, since I’m sure I have far too much estrogen in me to really be a MAN), but I’d rather be semi-sane than MAN ENOUGH. And, besides, this nightmarish schedule is going to go away in December, to be replaced with the burning question of every college graduate: what now? But more importantly, more free time and a chance to at least be a psuedo-NEET (I would not quite fit the NEET status, but it would be the next worst thing).

At any rate, since most of the series in recent seasons I’ve been following heretofore are either lagging in subs, I am lagging in watching them, or are about to complete, I’ve been refraining from posting about them, simply because I’d rather not spend time building either expectations or presenting false views so close to the end of a series. I will definitely be posting something on Macross Frontier when it concludes next week (I saw 24 earlier today; it was awesome, and I was most amused by Ranka’s Ayanami Rei impersonation), probably a post on the perinnially confusing, confounding, and conflagrating Code Geass R2 (can I make sense of episodes 21-25? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!), possibly something on the most recent four episodes of The Daughter of Twenty Faces that I have yet to watch (and will not have time for tonight, at least), and, when the new season starts, at least initial impressions of whatever I, insanely, decide to pick up (which is a long list right now, but one that will probably be cleared off pretty fast). I do have a Kaiji draft somewhere around here, I’m still trying to figure out how to say what I want to say without spouting nonsensical gibberish as I usually do, but the results will probably be slightly more comprehensible nonsensical gibberish. And sometime soon I’m going to have to run through Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai in preparation for Umineko no Naku Koro ni, so there might be posts on that.

In other fronts, I’ve also just received a giant order of CDs the other day: the fantastic BOOM BOOM SATELLITES – EXPOSED album, the also fantastic SUEMITSU & the SUEMITH The Piano, It’s Me album, the also also fantastic BUMP OF CHICKEN albums Yggdrasil and orbital period, the also also also fantastic soundtracks to ef – a tale of memories, and the also also also also fantastic new album from Sound Horizon, Moira, which was the whole reason I ordered all that nonsense anyway (and also the one I hadn’t heard before it arrived, and which I still haven’t, uh, heard all the way through). What possible bearing this could have on anything at all, I’m not sure, but I can tell you that Sound Horizon is totally radical and if you haven’t heard them yet, you should. I would explain more but whatever genre I put them in wouldn’t work, but it involves violins and amazing singers and electric guitars and whatever else Revo decides to throw into the mix, including Wakamoto Norio and yukana and Noto Mamiko and Tamura Yukari and Kawashimi Houko and other seiyuu.

I’ve also been picking up books to read like crazy; excluding the not-Japan stuff, I have Zaregoto to go through, Dragon Sword & Wind Child to finish, my fresh-bought copy of FAUST Anthology v.1, Moribito, and, uh, probably other things. Not to mention manga that’s been piling up. Some might get reports, some might not, but that’s how it goes.

So, uh, in conclusion, have a not-to-proportion picture of Nyamo, who I am seriously missing because I have no way of watching more without delving into the complicated world of raws.

I swear I’m not using anime girls as a method of escape from my horrible, traumatic, stressful life detailed above. Or maybe I am! I can’t tell anymore, because there’s all these people making huge broad sweeps and stating that those who might, conceivably, enjoy two dimensional girls in any way, shape, or form, is socially incompetent. Ahh, the wonderful politics of sociology. I have no idea if I am “socially competent”, but people will talk to me of their own free volition and without seeming vehemently repulsed, and they, in turn, do not vehemently repulse me, so I figure I must be doing something right. Unless everything right is wrong again, which is when we have even worse problems.

I’m going to stop now. See you, uh, in an indeterminant period of time, but probably measurable in days! I will still probably respond to personal communiques of either the email variety, the MAL message/comment variety, or even the antiquated blog comment variety–and sorry if I keep neglecting replying to comments. I do read all of them, but I can’t always necessarily formulate something to reply with, or I do and want to but forget about it and beat myself up for not doing it.

You may return to not caring now.

Insults go here: vvvvvvvvv

Xam’d: Lost Memories: Human and Humanform

Another week, another impressive episode of Xam’d, another justification for my torrid love affair with Haru. As if I really needed justification, but justification means I can explain it to people. Maybe, anyway.

Xam’d keeps shoving themes in my face; if I were really clever and not so eager to press the “publish” button so often, I mght think of them in the same post, but that might lead to really long and unwiedly posts, so either I have to wait until it pops in my head or the series makes it painfully clear for me. The theme that popped in my head this episode (which was probably stronger in previous episodes, but my mind works in weird ways) is that Xam’d, as a series, doesn’t seem to draw a line between what is “human” and what is “weapon”.

Here we have a world, a world that has developed some kind of biotechnology weapon that enables a human being to transform (through some arcane scientomagic, apparently) into a really big killing machine, while simultaneously allowing their human form to exist within the Humanform Weapon, as the bioengineered beasts are termed. It’s not clear how this process works–from watching Nakiami do her work, the human exists in a kind of soupy glowy mess inside the Humanform Weapon*, enabling her to extract them from the weapon itself before destroying the weapon, thereby saving the human “pilot” but destroying the weapon. Even when it comes to the more decidedly mechanical weapons that Haru and Furuichi** pilot, the line betwen man and machine is still blurred–they seem to use some kind of spinal/cranial uplink to allow them greater control over their units. While less drastic than actually becoming a weapon themselves, as the Humanform Weapons do, it definitely blurs the line between weapon and wielder.

The fact that there isn’t a clear line between the two is fairly simple for the cannon fodder units that pop up and are destroyed, but it becomes more critical where Akiyuki is concerned. Akiyuki is, of course, a Xam’d, and, while he may not quite know what he’s doing, it’s clear to Furuichi, at least, that, since he is a Xam’d, he is an enemy, and also that Akiyuki is no longer Akiyuki, but some other being, and possibly Akiyuki as he knew him is dead. It’s the dead opposite attitude to Haru’s outlook that, beneath the Xam’d exterior, Akiyuki is still the same Akiyuki that she’s known all her life, and she still needs to give him that armband back.

This all becomes poignantly clear when Toujirou calls Haru in simply to clarify what has happened to Akiyuki, referring to him as a “casualty” and other sinister hints that reveal that he no longer consideres Akiyuki (who is, very much, a human being at this point) to be human or even alive–instead, he is now another one of those menaces known as Xam’d that must be hunted down and destroyed, possibly without mercy. It’s rote business for Toujirou, who is more interested in his clipboard than Haru, and Haru, for all her conviction to the contrary, that Akiyuki is indeed a human being, can’t even begin to frame why she believes this.

Is Akiyuki still human? Is he now some kind of crazy possessed-by-Xam’d person who has the appearance and manner of his old self, but is fully Xam’d in thought? I’ll just whip out Occam’s Razor and state that, more likely, Akiyuki is still Akiyuki and Xam’d is still Xam’d, they’re just now both in the same person.*** And, although the Xam’d may be, in the end, just a weapon, in the end, it’s still going to be up to Akiyuki to decide how to use it. What’s that phrase I commonly hear? “Love the sinner, hate the sin”? In Xam’d terms, this would be “Love the human, hate the weapon”.

BUT WAIT!

I don’t think we can hate the weapon, either. Fun.

(Is there some credit due to coburn here, after his comment on the last Xam’d post? I’m not sure, but here’s credit anyway!)

*I mustn’t say LCL, I mustn’t say LCL, I mustn’t…
**I HATE FURUICHI. HATE. HATE. HATE.
*** Funny, this reminds me of this other series I’m watching right now

Onii-sama e…: It’s Exciting! It’s Thrilling! It’s Yuri!

Apologies for a lack of any kind of meaningful graphic for Onii-sama e… (also known as Brother, Dear Brother). There really aren’t any good images out there. The fansubs for it are, as far as I can tell, very bad rips of nth-generation VHS subs (two of them had hideous sound errors all over the place), and the series is practically unknown in the English-speaking world (and even the Japanese-speaking world, but that’s understandable as it has to fight with its sibling, Rose of Versailles, for attention.

Onii-sama e…, despite its title, has almost nothing to do with brothers at all, and everything to do with, well, sisters. I guess. The titles comes from the letters Nanako, the main character, writes to her former cram school teacher and penpal “brother”. The letters act as a kind of “frame” for the story of the series, but only barely, and the letters themselves have repercussions later in the series. But that’s later. The actual plot of the series revolves around the mysterious organization known only as the Sorority, and the drama that occurs when the extremely normal and totally not rich snobby girl Nanako is invited to join it, much to the anger and resentment of all the actual rich snobby girls at the school. This results in drama, of course, and ever so gradually Nanako is sent careening through a series of events that defy the mind in terms of totally-out-of-left-fieldness. Also, as is traditional in Ikeda Riyoko manga, every female character who is not the main character is an absolute bitch. There’s no other way to describe it. The plot essentially exists to pull characters from one dramatic revelation or outrage to another, with barely a moment to gasp for breath in between. “There is no end to my tears…” indeed.

THE SERIOUS TALK

The series itself is, essentially, the proto-yuri series. Arguably the prototypes for yuri stretch far back into the early 20th century with the Class S writers, but yuri (and accompanying feminist beliefs) hadn’t crept into manga until the Year 24 Group smashed into the manga scene in the 70s. Never an actual, formal group, the Year 24 Group (so named because they were all born in 1949, or Showa 24) was a nickname for a group of unrelated, independently-working female manga-ka who were popular in the 1970s (and sometimes beyond) and helped define the market for shoujo that we have today. Undeniably the biggest and most successful of these was Ikeda Riyoko, author of Rose of Versailles and Onii-sama e… I’m fairly certain it was 100% impossible to be a young pre-teen or teenage girl in Japan in the 1970s and not have read Rose of Versailles, as even my totally normal female native Japanese language professor reacted with glee when I name-dropped it. Also when I name-dropped Tokikake, but she thought I was referring to the 80s live-action movie. Oops.

At any rate, it’s quite clear that modern successful yuri series owe quite a lot to Onii-sama e…: Marimite in particular, with its all-girls school setting and penchant for overblown schoolgirl drama, but even something like Simoun shows influence from it. Revolutionary Girl Utena drew more from Rose of Versailles, though.

Okay, enough boring, serious talk.

THE EXCITING AND FUN TALK

Like Rose of Versailles back in the 70s, when Onii-sama e… was greenlighted in the early 1990s for an anime adapation, the talents of legendary director Dezaki Osamu were tapped. Known for directing a large array of highly regarded adaptations (Ashita no Joe, Ace o Nerae) and generally being a pretty awesome guy all around.

For those who watched Rose of Versailles, you probably know what’s in store for you, as, despite coming 15 years after that, Dezaki still uses a quite similar direction style. Which means you’ve got more triple takes than you know what to do with. There hasn’t been an epiosde that didn’t have at least one triple take, and, as I get near the end of the series, triple takes have become so commonplace that Dezaki had to resort to a trick very few directors will even attempt: the quadruple take. If dramatic chords were the excessively cheesy awesome hallmark of Rose of Versailles, the triple and quadruple takes are Onii-sama e…’s dramatic flourish of choice. I mean, anything that makes me want to shout at the charactes while I’m watching it on my mp3 player in the very halls of academia itself, despite no one around me having any clue what I’d be talking about, well, that’s beyond entertaining and it enters a new realm called exciting.

The end result is a series I love to watch (even if I’ve neglected it far more than I should have, due to easily distracted clause). I’m not entirely sure I like it better than Rose of Versailles, but that’s a tall order to fill, and no one can top the awesome of Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes for me, anyway. It is still, however, totally awesome and worth it, especially if you’re a fan of Rose of Versailles. Even if I’m not done with it yet.

NONSENSICAL REAL-LIFE WHINING BELOW, SKIP AT YOUR LEISURE

This semester has unexpectedly bindsided me with, uh, a distinct lack of time to do much of anything. Considering the fact that I leave for school around 8 every morning and very, very rarely make it back home for any appreciable length of time before 9pm on weeknights, and then have homework to deal with, and then off to bed to do the same thing the next day. I barely have time to sit down and do much of anything before I’m off gallavanting around campus yet again. At the same time, I’m trying to clear out my backlog. This is why I’ve been noticably quiet lately, I simply haven’t had the time to watch anime, let alone write about it. Apologies to those used to more frequent postings of varying quality

The Daughter of Twenty Faces: Brooms + Chiko = Death

Not just any broom. A miko’s broom. Take that, unnamed antagonists!

Fresh off episode 15 of this extremely hard-to-define (for me, anyway) series, I am struck by the notion that this is an episode format that series like Daughter of Twenty Faces need to have a bit more of. Not that what we’ve had is bad, of course, but this episode–which, from the start, looks rather much like a silly lighthearted “here’s a tension breaker in the middle of all that drama that just unfolded” episode, of which the best part was most likely to be the discussion of Charlie’s Angels The Detective Girls (which was suitably amusing and also in line with the glamour-and-fantasy-obsessed Keito’s character), but, instead, we got an amusing lighthearted episode (with suggestive yuri scenes of tickling), with deadly broom-wielding action, and then a tad bit of character development of the rather useless Detective Akine. He’s fat, he’s useless, and for most of the series he’s been the hapless pawn of Chiko’s aunt in her various machinations to try and con her way into the fortune Chiko is heir to. For the past several episodes, though, they’ve been giving him a bit of character past, and by the end of the episode, he’s managed to show some spine and stands up to Chiko’s aunt in defense of Chiko, and actually shows himself worthy of the “Detective” in front of his name.

I was amused and highly entertained the whole episode (who wouldn’t be, at this point?), but by the end, simple and silly as the sequence of events was, the entire episode essentially turns the whole character of Akine upside down. That’s essential in a story like this, because it keeps the viewers on their toes, and keeps the lines of intrigue and shifting alliances alive. One might call it a sudden, and rather arbitrary, shift of character; to me, however, that seems to be keeping in line with the old-time crime/mystery stories Daughter of Twenty Faces traces its literary history back to. It may not be as “well-executed” as some of the crazy twists Back In The Day (the early 20th Century), but it’s also not a prime twist (or even a twist at all, just a deepening of character), and it seems fairly logical as far as I can tell.

Or maybe I’m just too easily entertained/impressed. But Twenty Faces has always seemed to be to be more of a fun-to-watch series over trying to be more intellectual fare (like a certain other series involving a famous literary thief and numbers–which reminds me, I need to watch The Castle of Cagliostro sometime), and it’s moments like this that remind me why I like the series in the first place. It’s not the most impressive work BONES has ever done (and, really, they’re going to have to really work it to the bone to top Eureka Seven for me, although Xam’d might make it there, maybe), but it’s far from their worst effort, and it certainly has a certain charm. Maybe it’s the fact that the director, Tomizawa Nobuo, spent quite a bit of time working on various projects involving Lupin III, and picked up a few things about how to tell and direct stories about thieves and old-school capers and such.

I have no idea where the series will possibly go (and I kind of wonder if the original manga author knew himself anyway, but that’s part of the appeal), or if it will succeed when it gets there, but it’s still a crazy ride.

With tickling. Seriously. We need more of that. With Tome joining in. Nothing says female bonding like tickling.

Macross Frontier: Why Do We Sing?

I know why Nakajima Megumi is singing: Satelight is cutting her a check for every song, plus it’s not every big break that involves singing Kanno Yoko songs. Why Ranka is singing, however, proves to be a much more problematic, uh, problem.

I must admit, when I saw 19 (yesterday ;__;) I screamed blasphemous words towards Sheryl at the end. I’m not sure if I just missed the explanation for what happened (her fainting and Alto catching her) or if they didn’t show it to us in order to make the viewer howl in anger (or cheer in ecstasy, you disgusting horrible wonderful Sheryl fans), but that still didn’t make me any less upset at the effect it had on poor Ranka. Since the series is winding to a conclusion, drama has been kicked into high gear (and people shoot bullets to keep the old-school fans pacified) and now we have the fun times of screaming in rage and hatred at Leon instead of Sheryl/Ranka, for once.

20 was essentially 24 minutes of animated bliss: that single episode contained everything about Macross Frontier that, love it or hate it, makes it Macross Frontier. We have lots of blood and gore and killing. We have Klan Klan stripping in front of the camera (and it still wasn’t shoved in your face nearly as bad as they could have done it, and it played into the end of the episode–more later, though, on a very sad and touching KLAN KLAN WATCH!). We have conspiracies run amok and a nagging feeling that maybe Leon isn’t as in control as he thinks he is. And we also have Sheryl regaining her drive to sing, a performance that, although most likely the exact same recording found on the Diamond Crevasse single with some manipulation to the mix, still sent chills up my spine and made a certain moment which we will discuss later in KLAN KLAN WATCH! much stronger. Mock-Sheryl hate aside, she pulled out all the stops and we see her character rise from an abyssal depression of uselessness into a realization that one is only as useless as one thinks they are. We also see her slap some sense into Ranka–really, the whole rooftop sequence was amazing on all three fronts. It may be a love triangle, but like all Macross triangles, the three have to work as a cohesive unit to get anywhere.

Also, I was quite pleased to note–also on the rooftop scene–that they snuck in a sly reference to SDF/DYRL, where Ranka states that she can’t sing, exactly like Minmei did before her performance of Do You Remember Love? at the end of DYRL. Ranka, of course, can’t sing because she feels she’s lost her reason to, since Alto doesn’t care about her. It’s also amusing–as Ranka loses her way in stardom and is forced to re-evaluate why she sings, Sheryl, who’s been on the decline for quite some time now, finally realizes that she shouldn’t sing for herself, but for others, because it’s all she can do.

21 was slightly less spectacular, and I don’t quite have a lot to say about it, but they’re definitely heading towards an end with this series. When Ranka and Brera blast off into space, I’m left wondering if they’re playing into Leon’s plans (if Leon is truly who is in control here, or if Grace is using him as a pawn like Lelouch) or if they’re acting in counter to them. The path of the series now seems to be coexistence with the Vajra (who probably aren’t a terribly hostile race unless provoked, as wild animals tend to be) with Ai-chan maturing into a full Vajra. Personally, I’m waiting for the Alien moment where a Vajra pops out of Ranka’s stomach (or the Spaceballs moment where a Vajra erupts from her stomach, and then tap dances off the set a la Michigan J. Frog). Also, I love how there’s two triangles going here: Alto/Sheryl/Ranka, and Ranka/Alto/Brera. Only Sheryl is missing one, unless you want to count Sheryl/Alto/Nanase. This is, indeed, the Macross that’s all about love triangles.

And, now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

KLAN KLAN WATCH!

I don’t know if there’s words for this scene. I knew going into 20 that Michael would die, possibly horribly, but very definitely die, and even still, this final sequence affected me to the point of tears welling up (again!). It was probably a combination of Klan confessing her feelings for him earlier (while mostly naked and in miclone form), the aforementioned bone-chilling performance of Diamond Crevasse, and MIchael stating, just before It Happens, that if you truly cared about someone, you’d give up your life for them. Also probably the fact that Klan Klan and Michael were both pretty tsundere to each other all series, to have both the confessions and the death of Michael within a few minutes of each other is just…yeah. I don’t know if I can actually describe my emotion from the moment the Vajra busted out above the miclone tank to when Michale was sucked into space. Emotions defy words, I think, this one especially. If Michael had to go out, he did so in the best possible way.

But, dear reader, you can make Klan Klan not be sad once more! Simply join the under-appreciated MAL club I have formed in dedication to our favorite genetically defective Zentradi female. It’s under-appreciated like every other MAL club I have formed, possibly because I have unpopular and somewhat obscure tastes! This isn’t shameless self-whoring at all!

I’ve also just realized that we’re about to start a new season, and I, once again, am bidding farewell to series I’ve stuck with for half a year. God knows what I’ll do when Soul Eater ends–I think, if I stick with it, it will be the first 50+ episode series I’ve managed to follow from airing start to airing end. I almost did that with SEED Destiny, but by the time it ended I had given it up already and didn’t care too much. I keep meaning to post my crazy plan-to-watch list for the fall, but I haven’t had a chance to yet.


NOTICE SHAMELESSLY STOLEN FROM G.K. CHESTERTON

I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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a ridiculously long and only partially organized list of subjects

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